Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Brazilian Prosecutors File Lawsuit Seeking $10.7 Billion From Chevron, Transocean

RIO DE JANEIRO—Federal prosecutors in Brazil Dec. 14 filed a lawsuit seeking 20 billion reais ($10.7 billion) in reparations from Chevron and Transocean Ltd. in connection with the November leakage of 3,000 barrels of oil at the site of an offshore well.

The well, owned by Chevron, was being drilled by Transocean.

In the civil lawsuit (No. 2011.51.03.002561-4) filed in a federal court in Campos, in southeastern Rio de Janeiro state, prosecutors also asked the court to suspend all activities by Chevron and Transocean in Brazil. The lawsuit also requested a daily penalty of R$500 million ($267 million) for noncompliance with court rulings.

Chevron has 11 producing deepwater wells at the Frade field, where the spill occurred, off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state. The regulatory National Oil Agency (ANP) in November suspended Chevron’s drilling activities pending the outcome of its ongoing investigation of the accident (34 INER 1168, 12/7/11).

Court to Decide Whether to Hear Case

The R$20 billion in reparations that federal prosecutors are seeking for the spill, which the lawsuit categorized as “catastrophic,” are based on international parameters for damages sought from similar spills, Marcelo del Negri, a spokesman for the federal prosecutor’s office in Rio de Janeiro state, told BNA Dec. 15. He said the federal court must still decide whether it will hear the case.

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